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Thursday, August 11, 2011


We've Come A Long Way!

I got online and looked for photos of beautiful bathrooms. All the designers, decorators, plumbers, ceramic tile layers, and just plain handy people brought some beautiful bathroom photos for all of us to see. Here are the photos I found:

I found this bathroom stunning (except for the black TV). I love the white marble. I do know from experience that white marble yellows with age (or maybe due to cleaning supplies). So I wouldn't use white marble in my bathroom. But this is a beauty! So clean and elegant looking. And I particularly like all the storage cabinets. It's a little too big which means you could be cleaning this one bathroom all day. Another thing to note is all the lights. It's definitely NOT a "green" bathroom. There are canned lights everywhere (even on the shelves above and below the TV. The more we are encouraged to go green, the more electricity we seem to be using in our decorating. In a bathroom, I'm used to 1 overhead light with fan and something over the sinks. Here, they are everywhere. Not that it isn't pretty! It's definitely enhancing! But pay attention in these photos and notice the lighting.

I like this bathroom too. A little Romanesque. Notice the white marble is rectangular tiles. But it's another big bathroom to keep clean.

What a lovely arch over the tub.

I don't particularly like this shade of yellow with the white marble and black tiles. But to each his own. At least, this white marble is just on the walls so less chance of yellowing from cleaning solutions. The floor is black/white ceramic tile and the vanity is yellow onyx or marble.

This is a very oriental look. Or more masculine. There are 2 things to notice...the wood countertops and the pebble tub surround. I don't care what you say, wood around water isn't a good mix. You will splash water on that wood. And pebbles around that tub aren't going to be easy to clean or wipe off.

This is one of my favorite vanities. I love the storage, the granite countertop with inset white sinks.

Elegance is in, even in the bathrooms!

This is a very elegant and, yet, practical sink. You can brush your teeth and use soap without soap scum or toothpaste dabs showing in the sink!

This is an elegant bathroom but I'm not sure how long the leather ottoman will last. Notice the lighting? Looks like 2 chandeliers with 5-6 light bulbs each, plus all the canned lights.

A sophisticated bathroom! I've been noticing round mirrors are making a comeback on the decorating shows on HGTV. Very '30's! These mirrors seem to be in front of windows. The door, perhaps, leads to a pool outdoors? I love the tiny rectangle tiles around the tub and shower area! This looks like a good size for a bathroom. It seems everyone wants bigger and bigger bathrooms but if you are the one that has to clean a bathroom, you don't want these monster bathrooms with huge showers the size of bedrooms. This bathroom is big enough to be elegant and comfortable but not so big that cleaning it is too big an issue.

There is a very clean line in this bathroom. It's stylish, minimal. It depends on your lifestyle as to whether it would work. Notice there isn't much storage. But if you have a narrow space, this would work. It's very functional, easy to clean and keep, modern. This would be a good re-do for one of those older narrow bathrooms. It's not my style but it works!

This is one of my favorites. Again, it's not too big but does have a separate shower/tub. It's very old fashioned and, yet, modern. I'm a fan of bead board and white ceramic tile. This shower is tiled with the rectangular white high gloss tiles that I like. Easy to keep clean. The ONLY thing I don't like is the wooden counter top.

This is bland because someone was afraid to use color. But if you change the color of the ceramic tile and the vanity, this would be a nice bathroom. Very modern. The step down shower is unusual. It might be hard to clean. Keeping all the glass shower walls (that are so popular now) has got to be a chore. I've had shower doors before and you can't keep the soap scum off. So how do you with these nice all glass shower enclosures?

I like the water blue tiles. For some reason, I've always liked the small tiles and there is plenty in this bathroom! I don't like the aesthetics of the concrete sink/vanity top. It's just not pretty. But it is functional and is popular in decorating.

This is another favorite bathroom. It's a little masculine for me. But I love the small rectangle tiles. I don't care for wood countertops. I love the tub and there is good storage. Not too big and not too small. I don't care for the floor. It's a little institutional looking. That shelf over the tub would be a good place to put one of those new fireplaces with the little flames in a row.

This is a nice bathroom. But the red glass bowl is going to show soap scum and dabs of toothpaste! But it does give a pop of color, as do the vases. The shower is a little big for efficient cleaning but I do like th seat and ledge. You already know I like the small ceramic tile. The floor is too institutional looking.

So very elegant! It's beautiful. But notice all the lights? You have canned, chandeliers, sconces, over the mirrors... But, HELLO, isn't that one of those behind-the-mirror-TVs I see? Love that!

Very elegant half bath for your guests. The only thing is the ceiling needs a nice ceiling mold. Considering the baroque choice in the vanity, mirror and wall sconces, the detail missing at the ceiling is noticeable. Plain. The flooring also looks plain in comparison to all the gold, tassles, curlicues...

This is unusual (although ditch the picture, it ruins the unusual line of the tile) and effective. I like that broken line. The clear glass sink is a bit hard to keep sparkly though. Every time you wash your hands you have to spray it with Windex and wipe down with a paper towel?

I love, love, love this bathroom. The clean white is wonderful. The use of the old fashioned mixed with the elegant architectural details is a great mix. Notice the white "subway" tiles with the exposed plumbing and old light fixtures but used with the vaulted ceiling and tons of molding and it's just right! There is lots of storage in the cabinetry (opposite the commode) but you don't even notice it. This is another great redo for the older homes with the long narrow bathrooms.

This bathroom is another favorite. Very elegant. The only negative comment is that keeping those draperies clean is going to be hard!!!! Although I love the tub in front of a window, especially this nice bay, but look at their view! But I don't see blinds on this window. Someone getting an eye full? But the storage, the vanities, the sinks, the silver wallpaper with the silver ceramic tile border (or is it a wallpaper border?) and the aged-in-silver cabinets are great!

Something about this bathroom reminds me of the YMCA shower rooms. I don't know why. Maybe it's all the large, hard space. I do like the turquoise blue.

Let's look at some sinks. We've all had to use them and clean them. What works? I used to really love the look of ceramic tile countertops until I had some experience with them. All that grout isn't easy to keep clean. So first thing...don't use white grout. Second thing...keep it clean! Don't let mildew and mold start to grow.

DO NOT...again, I say...DO NOT use a porous tile for a sink, shower, countertop, high traffic floor or stove back splash. I like a glazed tile. Porous tile gets grungy and grimy. End of story. It looks good but it's not practical for every day or heavy use.

I like the undermount sink with the tile surround. It's very pretty. But, if you look carefully, you see there is white grout and then there is darker grout. You just can't keep white grout white especially if you actually use the sink.

This is so whimsical and pretty. I still don't see using it for brushing my teeth. Who wants to watch your spit spiral down the pretty stream? But it would be pretty for a guest bathroom. I don't know if this is concrete or solid surface. Solid surface countertops are great. They were real popular for kitchen and baths in the 1990's but have been losing ground to granite in the first decade of the 21st century. I love solid surface because it's practical, gives you color and is softer. If I drop a glass on a granite countertop it's broken, the end. But if I drop one on a solid surface countertop I may still have a glass. Solid surface does show scratches but with the colors and flecks you don't notice them. They are as expensive, or more, than regular granite so it's a toss up, price wise. I love granite too. But I've had both and there is something to say for them both.

Again with the wood tops? I notice they made the smart decision to put a glass backsplash to protect the wall but they used wood countertop? At least put a fitted glass top on the wood. I do love the new bowl sinks but not on a wood counter top and not out of clear glass. I prefer white in bathrooms because you don't see soap scum or toothpaste dabs (have I already mentioned soap scum and toothpaste dabs?).

Unusual sink but another clear glass sink that will be hard to keep sparkling. And keeping a bottle of windex and a paper towel holder next to it isn't very attractive. They don't match the decor and, yet, every time you use that sink, you have to wipe it dry.

The tile work on this sink was neat. I don't care for the green but I like the broken tile and the sink surround (I love blue colors). Again, there is a lot of grout to keep white.

This is one of my favorite sinks. Old fashioned, practical and I like the bracket underneath. The round, swival mirrors are great.

This is very feminine and pretty. I have a guest bathroom with a wall sink and I used a vintage tablecloth to make a skirt for it like this. I would not recommend the lamp on the edge of the sink!

These rough, smooth rock sinks are coming into style and they are pretty neat. I haven't had experience with them so I don't know how easy they are to keep clean.

These sinks look like some type of urinal. Not my cup of tea.

These bright beautiful sinks are beautiful. The ceramic tile countertop takes away from the sinks a little and, as stated before, I'm not a fan of the tile countertops. But the sinks are beautiful.

White marble sinks. These are so nice but they will yellow.

The pebble look is very IN! But I have to wonder if it's all that practical. How easy is it to keep clean? Polished stones set flat may be OK.
But I think I can guarantee that this way is not going to be "clean-able". Vacuuming the dust is about all you could do.

Fancy tile work is very elegant. But is it practical? Not if it's a porous tile. The floor mosaic is a beautiful touch (although I'm not a fan of fish). Again, romanesque.

Well, there you have my picks and my thoughts on them. I hope it makes you think. Remember, if you have to clean it or you have to pay someone to clean it, it's in your best interests to make it practical to keep clean. Also remember that bathrooms and bedrooms and laundry rooms are the dustiest places in the house due to lint from textiles, makeup, powder, hair spray, etc. So you don't want your bathroom to be so hard to clean. Fancy chandeliers, lots of crooks and crannies, lots of drapery...all that gets dusty and is hard to clean. Just think...a detailed chandelier in your formal dining room gets dusty and is hard to clean and that is a room that you rarely use. Now put that highly decorative chandelier in the most used room of your house...the bathroom...and think how often you would need to clean it. And if it's not clean it's not pretty. Can you keep all that glass shower enclosure looking sparkly? If not, then you might be hesitant to use the shower and then it's a wasted space. Can you reach those curtains to take them down and clean them? How much storage do you really need in the bathroom? I don't use makeup so I don't need as much as some women. Men need even less. It's not like you can store your Grandmother's old quilt or your scrapbooks in the bathroom (mildew, dampness). How big do you want your bathroom to be? A bathroom is a grooming room. There is going to be powder, hair, lint, dust, toothpaste dabs, soap scum (I'm obsessed with that aren't I?), hair spray, makeup, etc. in this room. Do you really want it that big? Think what the perfect size is. Big enough to be comfortable (especially if there are 2 using it), big enough to do all that you do in a bathroom, big enough for good re-sale value. But not so big that you can't easily clean it. Not so big that it's got wasted spaces. Do you like cleaning two large areas such as a separate bathtub and shower? Do you use both? Or is one not used so you don't have to clean it? Then it's wasted space, a waste of money (you had to pay for those separate spaces and the fixtures in them). I want my bathroom to be functional first, easy to clean second, have storage third, look clean and pretty fourth. You may want it to be pretty first and functional last. But think it through and decide what you want, what you can live with, what you can keep clean, what is practical for your lifestyle, will it work for the rest of the family.

Another hint. If you are looking for a home to buy. Don't be turned off by someone's decorating style or lack thereof. You have to use your imagination to see yourself and your things in the home. Some people want to walk into a turn key home and not have to do anything. If so, then the color of the walls, the flooring, etc. is important to you. But we have always re-painted, re-wallpapered, new floor coverings, etc when we buy a new home. So I look at someone's home with my imagination and how it would look if I painted it my favorite colors and had my furniture in there and put my curtains up. You want to look at the layout of the home, the bones of the home and see it the way you would use it. The size of a room is important because it's very hard, if not impossible, to change the size of a room. Gutting a kitchen and starting from scratch with a bathroom is an expensive undertaking and you have to know your budget. But someone's orange curtains or electric blue paint is an easy fix. So don't let their "tastes" turn you off. Look beyond that and use your imagination.

The older a home is, the smaller the bathrooms usually are. Indoor bathrooms started as small, necessary rooms and there was usually only 1-2 bathrooms. To bring them up-to-date and make your house appealing to a modern market, you might have to do extensive remodeling of bathrooms. Is that in your budget? If not, then look at newer homes. Although, my money is on the older homes. They were just plain ole built to last as compared to new homes today.


Anonymous said...

Its looking fine, you can find more Shower Enclosures here…..

nilla|utanpunkt said...

Hi, just found you accidentally. Nice and varied collection of bathrooms, and very good comments to each one! So often, it's easy to go for the look and totally forgetting that that look can be gone in a month if it's hard to keep clean.You are ratehr unique in pointing to that fact :-)

Anonymous said...

A bar sink may be for cipher more than rinsing little glasses, totally the fashion up to being utilised to clean dishes and pots. It can also exist required to do anything in between those things.

Phaidra said...

Excellent appraisal! I googled some ideas to re-do our narrow bathroom, and was very glad I stumbled upon your page first. Great things to keep in mind before the designers get all kinds of ideas in my head...that aren't practical in the least. Thanks again!

Cheris Homchick said...

As long as your marble is honed (matte finish) then you can use comet and a scotch brite pad to remove any scratches or the yellowing you were referring to :-) Don't do that to polished, or it will dull the finish.

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